E. Howell crew 2.6.44 †

19/05/1944 – Attack Against Le Mans
Twenty for aircraft successfully bombed the marshalling yards at Le Mans. Good results being reported.

Lancaster Mk.III ND753 AA-G
Based on other aircraft flown by McCardle crew – I suspect this aircraft was AA

P/O Cyril William McCardle, RNZAF NZ421072 – Pilot.
F/S Edward Howell, RNZAF NZ428819 – 2nd Pilot.
P/O Albert Hart Robertson Zillwood, RNZAF NZ4310159 – Navigator.
F/S Alexander William Hurse, RAAF AUS.410489 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. E. George Hunt , RAFVR 1150380 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. Robert Routh Benfold, RAFVR 1582109 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. John ‘Jack’ Edwards, RAFVR 1306600 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. Donald Sparkes, RAFVR 1613098 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:15 – Landed 03:05
Flight Time 04:50

02/06/1944 – Attack Against Wissant
Fifteen aircraft were detailed to attack a target at Wissant, N. France. Owing to thick cloud over the target, twelve aircraft were unable to identify the markers and brought their bombs back. No opposition was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.III ND915 AA-A

F/S Edward Howell, RNZAF NZ428819 – Pilot.
Sgt. Richard John Wilkinson, RAFVR 1585068 – Navigator.
F/O John Ronald McGeorge, RAFVR 152740 – Air Bomber.
F/S Gerard Henry Redwood, RNZAF NZ425012 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. John James Blundell, RAFVR 2205143 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Robert Douglas McAdam, RAFVR 2210689 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Leonard Charles Hickford, RNZAF NZ426886 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 01:10 – Landed 03:20
Flight Time 02:10

03/06/1944 – Attack Against Calais
Ten aircraft were detailed to attack Calais, and all crews were successful in contributing to a good concentrated raid in clear weather. Defences were slight to moderate and no enemy fighters were seen.

Lancaster Mk.III ND915 AA-A

F/S Edward Howell, RNZAF NZ428819 – Pilot.
Sgt. Richard John Wilkinson, RAFVR 1585068 – Navigator.
F/O John Ronald McGeorge, RAFVR 152740 – Air Bomber.
F/S Gerard Henry Redwood, RNZAF NZ425012 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. John James Blundell, RAFVR 2205143 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Robert Douglas McAdam, RAFVR 2210689 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Leonard Charles Hickford, RNZAF NZ426886 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:38 – Landed 03:13
Flight Time 02:35

05/06/1944 – Attack Against Ouistreham
The target for No.3 Group was the coastal battery at Ouistreham in N. France. This target, and others in the same area were attacked by strong forces of Bomber Command aircraft immediately prior to the Anglo-American Invasion of the Continent. Twenty six aircraft from this Squadron participated and all were successful in bombing their target with the aid of markers. Opposition was very slight.

Lancaster Mk.III ND753 AA-G

F/S Edward Howell, RNZAF NZ428819 – Pilot.
Sgt. Richard John Wilkinson, RAFVR 1585068 – Navigator.
F/O John Ronald McGeorge, RAFVR 152740 – Air Bomber.
F/S Gerard Henry Redwood, RNZAF NZ425012 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. John James Blundell, RAFVR 2205143 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Robert Douglas McAdam, RAFVR 2210689 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Leonard Charles Hickford, RNZAF NZ426886 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 03:24 – Landed 07:14
Flight Time 03:50

07/06/1944 – Attack Against Massy Palaiseau
Six aircraft were detailed to attack a target at Massy Palaiseau near Paris. Five aircraft bombed successfully, one returning early with instrument trouble. The aircraft captained by AUS421504 F/S. Perfrement, J. had a brief encounter with a ME.210, claiming hits on the enemy aircraft.

Lancaster Mk.III ND753 AA-G

F/S Edward Howell, RNZAF NZ428819 – Pilot.
Sgt. Richard John Wilkinson, RAFVR 1585068 – Navigator.
F/O John Ronald McGeorge, RAFVR 152740 – Air Bomber.
F/S Gerard Henry Redwood, RNZAF NZ425012 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. John James Blundell, RAFVR 2205143 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Robert Douglas McAdam, RAFVR 2210689 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Leonard Charles Hickford, RNZAF NZ426886 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 00:50 – Landed 03:20
Flight Time 02:30

08/06/1944 – Attack Against Fougeres
Twenty aircraft took off as detailed to attack Fougeres in N. France. Nineteen aircraft bombed successfully, one bringing its bombs back owing to the Bomb sight being unserviceable when over the target area. Two aircraft had inconclusive combats with enemy aircraft, but the remainder carried out their mission without incident, there being no opposition in the target area.

Lancaster Mk.III ND753 AA-G

F/S Edward Howell, RNZAF NZ428819 – Pilot.
Sgt. Richard John Wilkinson, RAFVR 1585068 – Navigator.
F/S John Ronald McGeorge, RAFVR 152740 – Air Bomber.
F/S Gerard Henry Redwood, RNZAF NZ425012 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. John James Blundell, RAFVR 2205143 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Robert Douglas McAdam, RAFVR 2210689 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Leonard Charles Hickford, RNZAF NZ426886 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:55 – Landed 02:35
Flight Time 04:40

10/06/1944 – Attack Against Dreux
Of the twenty four aircraft detailed to bomb Dreux, twenty two successfully attacked in good weather, the marshalling yards being visually identified until they were obscured by smoke. One aircraft had an inconclusive combat with a JU.88. The aircrafts captained by NZ422098 P/O. L. Bonisch and NZ422267 F/S. Donaghy, T. failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.III PA967 AA-D

F/S Edward Howell, RNZAF NZ428819 – Pilot.
Sgt. Richard John Wilkinson, RAFVR 1585068 – Navigator.
F/O John Ronald McGeorge, RAFVR 152740 – Air Bomber.
F/S Gerard Henry Redwood, RNZAF NZ425012 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. John James Blundell, RAFVR 2205143 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Robert Douglas McAdam, RAFVR 2210689 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Leonard Charles Hickford, RNZAF NZ426886 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:20 – Landed 03:35
Flight Time 04:15

12/06/1944 – Attack Against Gelsenkirchen
Fifteen aircraft were detailed to attack Gelsenkirchen and all took part in a very concentrated raid, A.A. Fire not being so intense as expected. Although enemy fighters were active, no combats took place with our aircraft.

Lancaster Mk.III PA967 AA-D

F/S Edward Howell, RNZAF NZ428819 – Pilot.
Sgt. Richard John Wilkinson, RAFVR 1585068 – Navigator.
F/O John Ronald McGeorge, RAFVR 152740 – Air Bomber.
F/S Gerard Henry Redwood, RNZAF NZ425012 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. John James Blundell, RAFVR 2205143 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Robert Douglas McAdam, RAFVR 2210689 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Leonard Charles Hickford, RNZAF NZ426886 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:30 – Landed 03:20
Flight Time 03:50

14/06/1944 – Attack Against Le Havre
Twenty six aircraft were detailed to attack shipping in the port area of Le Havre. Twenty five aircraft attacked and a very concentrated and accurate raid resulted. Fires from an earlier attack were still burning when our aircraft were over the target. One aircraft returned early owing to engine trouble. Opposition was slight.

Lancaster Mk.III PA967 AA-D

F/S Edward Howell, RNZAF NZ428819 – Pilot.
Sgt. Richard John Wilkinson, RAFVR 1585068 – Navigator.
F/O John Ronald McGeorge, RAFVR 152740 – Air Bomber.
F/S Gerard Henry Redwood, RNZAF NZ425012 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. John James Blundell, RAFVR 2205143 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Robert Douglas McAdam, RAFVR 2210689 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Leonard Charles Hickford, RNZAF NZ426886 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:50 – Landed 02:45
Flight Time 02:55

15/06/1944 – Attack Against Valenciennes
Twenty four aircraft took off as detailed to attack the Marshalling Yards at Valenciennes. Twenty three aircraft attacked the primary target with the aid of markers. A.A. Fire was very slight, but fighters were active, two of our aircraft having combats with enemy aircraft. The aircraft captained by 175311 P/O. C. Crawford claimed hits on an enemy fighter, but sustained serious damage itself, the pilot, however, was able to land safely at Manstone. The aircraft captained by NZ421495 F/S. Betley, R. failed to return.

Lancaster Mk.III PA967 AA-D

F/S Edward Howell, RNZAF NZ428819 – Pilot.
Sgt. Richard John Wilkinson, RAFVR 1585068 – Navigator.
F/O John Ronald McGeorge, RAFVR 152740 – Air Bomber.
F/S Gerard Henry Redwood, RNZAF NZ425012 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. John James Blundell, RAFVR 2205143 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Robert Douglas McAdam, RAFVR 2210689 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Leonard Charles Hickford, RNZAF NZ426886 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:19 – Landed 02:02
Flight Time 02:43

21/06/1944 – Attack Against Domleger
Twenty three aircraft were detailed to attack the constructional works at Domleger during daylight. Two aircraft failed to take off and the remainder were unable [to] locate the target, the markers not being visible owing to 10/10th cloud. they were instructed by the master bomber to abandon their mission, and apart from some aircraft which jettisoned their load, bombs were brought back. Opposition was very slight.

Lancaster Mk.III ND914 AA-H

F/S Edward Howell, RNZAF NZ428819 – Pilot.
F/O Richard John Wilkinson, RAFVR 1585068 – Navigator.
F/O John Ronald McGeorge, RAFVR 152740 – Air Bomber.
F/S F. Byrne, RAFVR – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. John James Blundell, RAFVR 2205143 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Robert Douglas McAdam, RAFVR 2210689 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Leonard Charles Hickford, RNZAF NZ426886 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:08 – Landed 22:10
Flight Time 04:02

30/06/1944 – Attack Against Villers Bocage
Twenty four aircraft in daylight were detailed to attack enemy concentrations at Villers Bocage, in support of the British and Canadian Armies advance in Northern France. Two aircraft were withdrawn, owing to technical faults, but the remaining twenty two aircraft all bombed their target successfully, and reported a very concentrated raid. Moderate, but heavy A.A. Fire was encountered over the target, but there was no fighter opposition. On return one aircraft landed at Woodbridge and another put down on one of our landing strips in Normandy (the Flight Engineer 1586862 Sgt. McDevitt, P.W. being slightly injured). A unique incident for the Squadron. Another aircraft was damaged by A.A. Fire, but reached Base and made a successful landing.

Lancaster Mk.I ME751 AA-M

F/S Edward Howell, RNZAF NZ428819 – Pilot.
Sgt. Richard John Wilkinson, RAFVR 1585068 – Navigator.
F/O John Ronald McGeorge, RAFVR 152740 – Air Bomber.
F/S Gerard Henry Redwood, RNZAF NZ425012 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. John James Blundell, RAFVR 2205143 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Robert Douglas McAdam, RAFVR 2210689 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Leonard Charles Hickford, RNZAF NZ426886 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:05 – Landed 21:12
Flight Time 03:07

05/07/1944 – Attack Against Watten
Twenty four aircraft took off as detailed to attack the constructional works at Watten. All were successful in bombing the target, and a good raid was reported. Moderate to heavy A.A. fire was encountered, but there was no fighter opposition. In addition, four aircraft were detailed to lay mines in the Kattegat, but this operation was cancelled.

Lancaster Mk.I ME751 AA-M Mother

F/S Edward Howell, RNZAF NZ428819 – Pilot.
Sgt. Richard John Wilkinson, RAFVR 1585068 – Navigator.
F/O John Ronald McGeorge, RAFVR 152740 – Air Bomber.
F/S Gerard Henry Redwood, RNZAF NZ425012 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. John James Blundell, RAFVR 2205143 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Robert Douglas McAdam, RAFVR 2210689 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Leonard Charles Hickford, RNZAF NZ426886 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:00 – Landed 01:31
Flight Time 02:31

07/07/1944 – Attack Against Vaires
Twenty one aircraft were detailed to attack the Vaires marshalling yard, but the operation was cancelled owing to weather conditions.

Lancaster Mk.I ME751 dnc AA-M Mother

F/S Edward Howell, RNZAF NZ428819 – Pilot.
Sgt. Richard John Wilkinson, RAFVR 1585068 – Navigator.
F/O John Ronald McGeorge, RAFVR 152740 – Air Bomber.
F/S Gerard Henry Redwood, RNZAF NZ425012 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. John James Blundell, RAFVR 2205143 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Robert Douglas McAdam, RAFVR 2210689 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Leonard Charles Hickford, RNZAF NZ426886 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:44 – Landed 01:29
Flight Time 02:45

09/07/1944 – Attack Against Linzeux
The twenty five aircraft detailed on the previous day took off to attack the constructional works site at Linzeux in daylight. All aircraft bombed through cloud, using navigational aids. A.A. fire opposition was reported as slight, although one aircraft suffered considerable damage when over the target. There was no opposition from enemy fighters.

Lancaster Mk.I HK568 AA-K

F/S Edward Howell, RNZAF NZ428819 – Pilot.
Sgt. Richard John Wilkinson, RAFVR 1585068 – Navigator.
F/O John Ronald McGeorge, RAFVR 152740 – Air Bomber.
F/S Gerard Henry Redwood, RNZAF NZ425012 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. John James Blundell, RAFVR 2205143 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Robert Douglas McAdam, RAFVR 2210689 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Leonard Charles Hickford, RNZAF NZ426886 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 12:57 – Landed 16:18
Flight Time 03:21

10/07/1944 – Attack Against Nucourt
Twenty seven aircraft took off at dawn to attack Nucourt constructional works site, all aircraft bombing through 10/10th cloud, using navigational aids, but the raid appeared to be scattered. Slight opposition from A.A. fire was encountered.

Lancaster Mk.I LL921 AA-E

F/S Edward Howell, RNZAF NZ428819 – Pilot.
Sgt. Richard John Wilkinson, RAFVR 1585068 – Navigator.
F/O John Ronald McGeorge, RAFVR 152740 – Air Bomber.
F/L Stanley William Galloway, RAFVR 148919 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. John James Blundell, RAFVR 2205143 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Robert Douglas McAdam, RAFVR 2210689 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Leonard Charles Hickford, RNZAF NZ426886 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 04:35 – Landed 07:50
Flight Time 03:15

12/07/1944 – Attack Against Vaires
The same twenty five aircraft detailed earlier took off to attack the Vaires marshalling yard in daylight. All aircraft reached the target area, but only two identified the marshalling yard and bombed as ordered. The remaining crews abandoned their mission as instructed by the Master Bomber, and brought their bombs back to base, owing to 10/10ths cloud obscuring the target. Considerable heavy A.A. fire was encountered, but all aircraft returned safely.

Lancaster Mk.I HK569 AA-Q
Hit by flak twice
F/S Edward Howell, RNZAF NZ428819 – Pilot.
Sgt. Richard John Wilkinson, RAFVR 1585068 – Navigator.
F/O John Ronald McGeorge, RAFVR 152740 – Air Bomber.
F/S Samuel Matheson, RNZAF NZ426322 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. John James Blundell, RAFVR 2205143 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Robert Douglas McAdam, RAFVR 2210689 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Leonard Charles Hickford, RNZAF NZ426886 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 18:10 – Landed 21:50
Flight Time 03:40

15/07/1944 – Attack Against Chalons Sur Marne
Eighteen aircraft took off as detailed to attack the marshalling yard at Chalons Sur Marne. All aircraft bombed the target and a good attack was reported, most crews being able to identify the marshalling yard visually. There was no A.A. fire opposition, but two aircraft had inconclusive combats with enemy fighters.

Lancaster Mk.III PA967 AA-D

F/S Edward Howell, RNZAF NZ428819 – Pilot.
Sgt. Richard John Wilkinson, RAFVR 1585068 – Navigator.
F/O John Ronald McGeorge, RAFVR 152740 – Air Bomber.
F/S Gerard Henry Redwood, RNZAF NZ425012 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. John James Blundell, RAFVR 2205143 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Robert Douglas McAdam, RAFVR 2210689 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Leonard Charles Hickford, RNZAF NZ426886 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:03 – Landed 03:58
Flight Time 05:55

17/07/1944 – Attack Against Vaires
The twenty seven aircraft previously detailed took off to attack the Vaires marshalling yard in daylight, but the aircraft were recalled shortly after setting course. On landing they were re-fuelled and kept standing by to attack a tactical target.

Lancaster Mk.I LL921 dnc AA-E

F/S Edward Howell, RNZAF NZ428819 – Pilot.
Sgt. Richard John Wilkinson, RAFVR 1585068 – Navigator.
F/O John Ronald McGeorge, RAFVR 152740 – Air Bomber.
F/S Gerard Henry Redwood, RNZAF NZ425012 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. John James Blundell, RAFVR 2205143 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Robert Douglas McAdam, RAFVR 2210689 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Leonard Charles Hickford, RNZAF NZ426886 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 11:05 – Landed 14:15
Flight Time 03:10

18/07/1944 – Attack Against Cagny
Twenty eight aircraft took off, as detailed, to make a dawn attack on the village of Cagny, in Northern France where the enemy had large concentrations of armour and troops situated. This attack was in direct support of the Allied 2nd Army, and all crews were successful in bombing the target with the aid of markers and a very concentrated raid was reported. Moderate A.A. fire was encountered, but only one of our aircraft suffered damage, this was captained by NZ421549 F/S. Moriarty, D. who was injured on the scalp and left eye, by fragments of perspex or shell splinters caused by an A.A. shell which exploded in the cockpit. In spite of his serious injuries, F/Sgt. Moriarty safely flew his aircraft back to base.

Lancaster Mk.I LL921 AA-E

F/S Edward Howell, RNZAF NZ428819 – Pilot.
Sgt. Richard John Wilkinson, RAFVR 1585068 – Navigator.
F/O John Ronald McGeorge, RAFVR 152740 – Air Bomber.
F/S Gerard Henry Redwood, RNZAF NZ425012 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. John James Blundell, RAFVR 2205143 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Robert Douglas McAdam, RAFVR 2210689 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Leonard Charles Hickford, RNZAF NZ426886 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 04:25 – Landed 07:30
Flight Time 03:05

20/07/1944 – Attack Against Homberg
Twenty six aircraft took off, as detailed, to attack the oil refinery at Homberg. Nineteen aircraft were successful in bombing the target, with the aid of markers, which seemed well concentrated. Two good explosions were seen and smoke came up from the target area. Heavy A.A. fire was moderate, but fighters were very active, eight combats taking place. Seven aircraft failed to return, the captains were AUS22776 W/O. Gilmour, H., NZ428819 F/S. Howell, E., NZ421829 F/S. Mackay, K., NZ422057 F/S. Davidson, N., NZ42488 W/O. Whittington, H., NZ413219 F/S. Roche, G. & NZ414560 P/O. Burtt, H.

Lancaster Mk.III PA967 AA-D

F/S Edward Howell, RNZAF NZ428819 – Pilot.
Sgt. Richard John Wilkinson, RAFVR 1585068 – Navigator.
F/O John Ronald McGeorge, RAFVR 152740 – Air Bomber.
F/S Gerard Henry Redwood, RNZAF NZ425012 – Wireless Operator .
Sgt. John James Blundell, RAFVR 2205143 – Flight Engineer.
Sgt. Robert Douglas McAdam, RAFVR 2210689 – Mid Upper Gunner.
F/S Leonard Charles Hickford, RNZAF NZ426886 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:30 – Landed missing
Flight Time Missing

Lancaster Mk.III PA967 AA-D was brought down by a night-fighter at approximately 01:00hrs in the countryside some 2.5 miles North of Nederweert (Lisburg) and 2.5 miles from the centre of Weert, Holland. There were no survivors. All crew are buried in the Jonkerbos War Cemetery.

P/O Edward Howell, RNZAF NZ428819 – Pilot.
Killed age 21.
Son of Alexander and Margaret Ann Brewis Howell, of South Shields, Co. Durham.
Buried Jonkerbos War Cemetery, Nijmegen, Holland.
Grave location – Coll. grave 4. H. 2-8. 200

F/S Richard John Wilkinson, RAFVR 1585068 – Navigator.
Killed age 21.
Son of John and Annie Wilkinson, of Kilmington, Devon.
Buried Jonkerbos War Cemetery, Nijmegen, Holland.
Grave location – Coll. grave 4. H. 2-8. 204
‘Into the sunshine
Of Gods love’

F/O John Ronald Mcgeorge, RAFVR 152740 – Air Bomber.
Killed age 22.
Son of Thomas Simpson and Marion Maud McGeorge, of Liverpool.
Buried Jonkerbos War Cemetery, Nijmegen, Holland.
Grave location – Coll. grave 4. H. 2-8. 202
‘In loving remembrance
Of our only son.
“Until we meet again.”
Dad and mum’

F/S Gerald Henry Redwood, RNZAF NZ425012 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 34.
Son of Henry Francis and Johannah Mary Redwood, of Wellington City, New Zealand.
Buried Jonkerbos War Cemetery, Nijmegen, Holland.
Grave location – Coll. grave 4. H. 2-8. 203

Sgt. John James Blundell, RAFVR 2205143 – Flight Engineer.
Killed age 19.
Son of John Thomas Blundell and Ellen Blundell, of Liverpool.
Buried Jonkerbos War Cemetery, Nijmegen, Holland.
Grave location – Coll. grave 4. H. 2-8. 198

Sgt. Robert Douglas Mcadam, RAFVR 2210689 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Killed age 21.
Buried Jonkerbos War Cemetery, Nijmegen, Holland.
Grave location – Coll. grave 4. H. 2-8. 201

F/S Leonard Charles Hickford, RNZAF NZ426886 – Rear Gunner.
Killed age 21.
Son of Charles and Alice Hickford, of Wanganui, Wellington, New Zealand; grandson of Violet Hickford, of Wanganui.
Buried Jonkerbos War Cemetery, Nijmegen, Holland.
Grave location – Coll. grave 4. H. 2-8. 199